Voices of GoTo: In this series, we highlight the people that make flexible work, work: our employees! GoTo is a global company with more than 4000 employees around the world, these are their stories.
Evelyn Castillo is a Sr. Account Services Specialist at GoTo. She works on billing and retention for all our products. She helps customers understand what they’re paying for and how to get the most out of their relationship with GoTo. Originally from a small town in Guatemala, she enjoys spending time with her family and sharing her cultural traditions with colleagues. Evelyn is also a member of our Families ERG.
Evelyn, tell me about yourself and your history.
I was born in Coatepeque, a small town in Guatemala. So, although I live in Guatemala City now, I am not used to being a city person. I came to the city when I was 15 years old to study teaching. I’m a teacher by trade. Originally, I wanted to be a doctor! In Guatemala, you must be a teacher if you want to be a doctor. So, I began that path, but when I started my family I realized that was no longer what I wanted. I wanted more flexibility. A friend of mine told me about a work-from-home role (at my now former employer) and that’s how I ended up in the tech industry.
I didn’t know anything about the tech industry when I started. If someone asked me, “What is an IP address?” I couldn’t answer it. So, I started learning and studying more. I spent five years there and learned so much. In 2017, an opportunity at Jive opened. (Editor’s note: LogMeIn, now GoTo, acquired Jive in 2018.). So, I got the job and have been at GoTo since. Now, I’m a senior in account services. We are involved in looking after all our products for customers.
You mentioned that you wanted flexibility in your work. Can you take me through your flexible work story?
I remember on March 13, 2020 GoTo told us, “You have to go home.” Of course, we didn’t imagine that it would be forever! In Guatemala we didn’t have laptops before then, we had desktops. So, we had to bring this huge box with two monitors home. It was kind of funny. To me, flexibility is more than just working from home. I love the office. I was in the office for three years and I am a person that likes to be social and surrounded by other people. I would always say hello to everyone and offer to help those who were new.
After three years at the office and two years at home, we’re doing hybrid work. The seniors on my team have started to go to the office every Thursday. We are close. We love to have breakfast together. We take our computers with us, and we like to work and eat and just interact with each other. We will go out to dinner too. We are careful and choose places that are not full of people and have outdoor space.
So, my flexible work story is that I get the best of both worlds. I get to spend time with my kids and with my colleagues on different days and in diverse ways.
What made you want to join the Families group?
Well, I love to be social. That comes in so many forms. I am in almost all the ERG groups or local groups. One of the managers of HR created a group in Guatemala for families, but they needed someone more dedicated to building it out. I volunteered. I had a conversation with the Families ERG leader, and she let me take on that role. I spoke to my supervisor and told him this was something I really wanted to be involved with. He was very supportive of it. I wasn’t a senior yet. So, when I did get my promotion, I thought, “Oh my gosh, how am I going to do this? I don’t think I’m going to be able to do everything.” But I always find the time because I choose this for myself, and it really makes me happy to be involved.
Why do you think it’s important to have a resource for families and to celebrate families at GoTo in the first place?
When the pandemic started, I remember the Families group putting on a session on how you can spend time with your child. We were all beginning to work from home and weren’t sure how to do it. We wanted to share resources and ideas with each other. I remember when a child would come into the room and interrupt meetings, we used to be a little embarrassed and maybe even apologize for it. Now, it’s a regular part of life! We all had to adjust together. But we were all supportive.
It was at this moment, right on cue, that Evelyn’s son wandered into the room and gave a little wave.
We’re at home, we must expect distractions along the way. We would share ideas like giving them books, doing some coloring in the room with you, and other activities to entertain themselves. We learned a lot from each other. I think everyone should have that support at work.
What advice would you give other parents that are working and have kids at home?
I would say, be patient. We manage a lot of stress as adults, but they do too. They are just not equipped to deal with it in the same way. We must think: what can we do for them? We are going through this, but they are going through this as well. They don’t know what’s going on in the world. They’re missing their friends as well. That helped me a lot.
How can we build an atmosphere of inclusion for all family types at GoTo?
We can share our cultures with each other. For example, I was talking to a colleague, and she asked me, “Oh what are you doing in summer now that your kids aren’t in school?” I responded, “My kids are in school!”
Here in Guatemala, we have a different time off for them. They start in January, and they end school in October. Our vacation time is November, December, and part of January. I think it’s cool to learn from each other in that way. We should have more conversations around our norms and traditions (when appropriate) so we can be open and inclusive globally. It’s also fun to learn more.
What is your favorite family tradition?
When we are on vacation we love to go visit my hometown. My family still lives in a small town, and they have some land. My father grows bananas and has a little river we like to fish in. We would visit monthly before the pandemic. That’s what I love. My kids love to fish there and stay with my grandmother, who also helped raise me. There are a lot of animals around too. It’s a different place and it's so nice to get away sometimes.
Any parting words for us?
I just feel grateful for the support. I am somewhat of a single mother and having the support from my manager and from the Families@GoTo group has helped me tremendously. I don’t feel like I am just working with colleagues, I feel like they’re a little family of mine as well.
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